The Linux Prayer, seen on Slashdot:

Our PC GOD Torvalds, which art in Transmeta^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H OSDN
Hallowed be thy skillz
Thy kernel comes, in the US and all the earth
Give us this day our daily updates.
And forgive us our holes, as we apply thine patch.
And lead us not into closed source, but deliver us from Microsoft.
For thine is the kernel, the skillz, and the leetness for ever and ever. Amen.


I just ordered a new computer for my company.

I’ve ordered five of the same thing over the past few months, and early this year (four months ago) they cost $600 apiece. Today’s order was under $400.

$400 for a brand new super-fast computer system… sheesh, I remember the first system I bought (an Apple IIgs) that was over $2,000 USED. My first IBM clone PC was also well over $2,000 and it had a screaming 386/33 processor…

I guess if I wait a week or two I’ll be able to get this puppy for even less!


We have a set of “poetry magnets” that are big words on magnetic strips– pretty cool, although they’re large (100-point font or so) and would take the entire refrigerator if we used them all. So they’re down in my office, stuck randomly to various file cabinets.

Today I saw an interesting pair:


I figure that would be:

1) A great name for a band. “Opening for Rush, it’s the Thought Monkeys!”

2) A great name for a think-tank. “General, I think it would be best to run this by the Thought Monkeys.”

3) A fabulous title for my business cards. “Jeff Schroeder, Thought Monkey.”


Freedom House, an organization dating back to 1941, recently released its report on the world’s most repressive regimes. They analyzed all the countries of the world in terms of political rights and civil liberties, assigning scores to each. Then they reported in detail about the dozen or so that were deemed “most repressive”.

The full PDF document is 136 pages long, and I admit that I didn’t read the whole thing. I did, however, read the chapters on China and Saudi Arabia simply because I’ve been complaining about both countries for years now and I wanted to ensure that my condemnation was fair. Apparently it is.

An excerpt from the China section:

“China is one of the most authoritarian states in the world.  Opposition parties are illegal, the [Chinese Communist Party] controls the judiciary, and ordinary Chinese enjoy few basic rights.”

And of course in Saudi Arabia:

“Women in Saudi Arabia are second-class citizens.  Women cannot get an identity card, obtain an exit visa, or be admitted to a hospital without the permission of their guardian. … The penalty for female adultery is death by stoning. The testimony of a woman is treated as inferior to that of a man in Saudi courts. … Although women make up half the student population, they may not study engineering, law, or journalism.”



While many things distinguish boys from girls, sometimes the most telling sign (in kids, anyway) is their choice of toys. The other day I was talking on the phone to the kids– who were on vacation with Laralee– and they were telling me about the new toys they got at a secondhand store.

Kyra: “Dad, I’ve got a cool new doll!”

Alex: “Dad, I’ve got three new guns!”


What will they think of next?

Now there’s a company trying to sell their seat-sensor technology to
airlines.  Apparently the sensors detect whether you’re “shifty” in
your seat, which might indicate nervousness (read “I’m a terrorist”).

Get this:

“If the seat reveals the passenger may be in a state of high anxiety,
the display can discreetly alert the cabin crew. They can then assess
whether the passenger presents a risk: are they simply frightened of
flying? An air-rager in the making? Or a hijacker about to make their

Oh yeah, baby.  I really want the flight attendant to see a readout of
how much I move my butt cheeks, and then let them “assess” (there’s a
joke here somewhere) whether I’m about to leap up screaming and do
something horrific like wave around my in-flight magazine (since
they’ve taken everything else away, including– as I learned a few days
ago– my tennis racket).

What a crazy world.


There are special moments in every child’s life that a parent treasures and repeats to anyone who will listen…

Today Alex’s friend Arturo showed him how to make farting noises with his armpit. And of course at dinner (where else?) Alex was demonstrating his technique to us– including an explanation of how you want to keep your shirt partially up because it improves the airflow. (Yes, he actually said “airflow”.)

I couldn’t be more proud.


Me: “Kyra, where’s mom?”
Kyra: “Outside, stabbing the yard.”

I checked, and sure enough– Laralee was outside aerating the lawn with a little three-pronged thingy…